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Austin: One down! Many more to go…

 

This was taken with my close friends in Sisters, OR a couple of weekends ago. My friend’s family has a house at Black Butte Ranch so a goup of us went away for the weekend and had a blast!

Well, I have officially survived my first semester of college! As of 10am this morning I am done with finals week! The stress is slowly dissipating and I am gradually starting to realize I have no homework to stress about today, tomorrow, and I won’t until January 7th! It is a surreal feeling considering that this previous week was one of the most stressful I’ve had in my education so far. Having taken honors, AP, and concurrent credit courses in high school, I assumed that college wouldn’t be too much different and finals week would be similar. Oh, if only I could return to high school tests.

Something I’m still trying to get used to is the fact that three tests, two midterms and a final, generally determine the majority of your grade in a course. After the last two weeks of odd sleep patterns, no social media, constant study groups, and lots of Christmas music, I am done! Yes, the process of finals is a pain, however, keeping everything in perspective- it is definitely worth it. The thing is I enjoy learning the material in my courses, especially Biology. I’m starting to realize that if you’re dreading homework in a class because of the content, you’re in the wrong class. Yes, researching and writing a paper or reading 50+ pages from a textbook may not be the most riveting activity, but it should at least be interesting. That is part of the beauty of college; you have complete control over what classes you take not only the times, but the professors, and when you take them during your four years. Needless to say, I’m enjoying my courses and I’m happy with my class selection.

On an entirely different note, I am extremely excited to begin researching during Jan term and next semester. The lab that I’m going to work in is a genetics lab which studies the various functions of microRNA using fruit flies. MicroRNA and it’s functions weren’t really discovered and known about until the late 1990’s, so the topic is in its early stages of research- meaning there is so much to learn about and a lot yet to discover. One of the main reasons I chose to attend Linfield was the opportunity for undergraduates to do research. As a freshman, I am starting to research with an incredibly knowledgeable professor, full of passion for teaching and researching, in a lab with endless possibilities. Not only will this be incredible learning experience, but it will also help with medical school or graduate school admission. I am so happy I am at a college where something like this is possible.

I am flying home later this week and not returning until early January. Snow is on the ground at home, Christmas is around the corner, and there is no homework to worry about; I could not be more excited. I had a great first semester, and no, I’m not just saying that because part of my job is to blog. I’m saying that because in this first semester I had so many learning experiences, good and bad, met and developed friends that I hope to have for life, and further developed my passion for education. My first semester of college: absolutely incredible.

Happy Holidays,

-Austin